Posted by: Steph | March 6, 2007

GBC Campaign Day 2

Today I went and read everyone’s profile on the GBC site. I was going to review all of these but I think that it would be a huge waste of time because everyone looks pretty good on paper. It’s easy to look good on paper. I’ll get to the meat when I talk to people. Candidates – think about this:

A few issues came up repeatedly – Schulich’s reputation in the business community, relationships with Alumni, and “getting involved”.

If we look at the world class MBA programs it is well known that they all hire each other. Harvard grads try to hire Harvard grads, Yale grads hire Yale grads… why is this? Is it because they have an online forum and a great CDC? In a word – NO. Harvard grads have been hiring Harvard grads since long before online communities and in-school career centers. The MBA bonds at these schools stem from a shared experience, and a firm knowledge of the quality of the fellow students. We need that at Schulich. I know, I know, it’s a business – and the MBA program is out to make money and so the school wins because with so many program flexibilities, including weekend classes and so on, they have HUGE capacity – but the way things are set up it means that over 50% of the student body graduates having not really been a true member of the Schulich community. And therefore they are not going to be feeling the love and loyalty towards fellow and future graduates.

Sometimes it seems that the primary division between Schulich students is those who participate and those who solely go to class and go home. And just to tie in my other major issue, I don’t know one B20 (bottom 20%) who participates. So how do we strengthen the bonds between all of the students? I have met amazing part timers who I would love to get to know beyond class time but there haven’t been any opportunities that have drawn these people out. They usually have jobs and thus feel less compelled to go to networking and job related experiences – and often family obligations keep them from social events. Maybe some family activities too? I’m not sure what the solution is.

Student quality affects hiring as well – I was talking to some friends who graduated a few years ago (both successful in the financial industry)and they both admitted that they would be very careful in hiring Schulich grads because a Schulich MBA is no guarantee of quality. I know that there are always a few idiots who slip through the cracks – but the thing is, there are way more than “a few” and they are pouring through the open doors. And there will be consequences.

OK. How can we fix this so that the amazing students who put so much into the MBA experience will get what they deserve out of it even after they leave?

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Responses

  1. Hi Steph,

    I’ve often heard it said in my many (hundreds of?) years of teaching that it’s the one’s we give the least to who come back (students that is). Of course what one gets from a college is more dependent upon the student than the college. Some come to college with a big emotional hole that needs to be filled while others come for just the letters after the name. We, as teachers, like to think that the balanced ones come for a mixture of reasons because, after all, we too are looking for emotional satisfaction from the deal.

    On the question of quality – that’s another issue! One of the criteria for judging business schools is the salaries which their students earn on leaving. However, we know that for the ‘better’ (in their opinion) business schools, the salary on starting is a criterion. Hence, a self-fulfilling prophesy emerges – recruit big earners and they leave as even bigger earners!

    In truth, though, quality is not really about earning potential and I’m absolutely sure that your year at Schulich will turn out a good number of top quality students. However, because the spread of its intake will be of wider ability than some of the ‘better’ business schools, so will the spread of its output. We shouldn’t however, ignore the fact that it might well have performed much better than these other ‘top’ schools adding much more in value than they did.

    I have to admit to have been on both sides of the fence but have loved my time teaching the students who have a long way to go and, by their own efforts, get there!

    Here’s a cheer for ALL MBA’s – from wherever!

    Rhiannon


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